Brexit LIVE: Boris Johnson makes fresh pledge to protect UK fishing fleet from EU red tape

Brexit: UK expat calls for changes to Spain's residency rules

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The introduction of new checks and paperwork since the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31 has caused disruption to exports of fresh fish and seafood to the EU to the frustration and anger of fishing organisations and producers. Since January 1st, shellfish fishermen have also only been able to send pre-purified shellfish to the continent.

It comes after the EU classed the Britains waters as “class B” instead of the cleanest waters – categorised as “class A” – putting trade restrictions in place.

During a trip to Cornwall, Boris Johnson said he recognised the post-Brexit export chaos and pledged the UK Government were working flat out to resolve it.

Mr Johnson said: “The first thing is that of course, I recognise the disruption and anxiety that some fishermen have had as a result of the changes and we’re working flat out.

“Eventually of course there will be significant opportunities for the UK fishing fleet, fishing industry particularly here in Cornwall, but there is no question that there have been problems in the last few months.”

 

He admitted the fishing industry also hadn’t “been helped” by the restaurant trade on the continent “because of Covid and in our own restaurants.”

But he made clear: “But there are unquestionable additional problems that we have had to iron out and that is why we are putting in a £2-million fund for short term problems and a £10,000 fund to help individuals, that is £10,000 for individuals’ logistical problems.

“What we want to do is use the £100-million long term fund really to strengthen the fishing industry in Cornwall and across the whole of the UK so build their long term future because in a few years’ time we are going to have access.

“The ability to fish all our fish in our waters and frankly we need to train people in our fishing fleet communities to be ready for that.”

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8am update: Absence of Brexit-related uncertainty improving employment prospects 

Employment prospects are improving amid the success of the vaccine rollout and extension of the job retention scheme, new research suggests.

Business advisory firm BDO said there were “green shoots of optimism” in the UK economy following the vaccine rollout and ongoing government support for businesses.

But the pandemic has had a huge impact on employment, with the number of payroll employees down by 693,000 on a year ago, said the report.

Optimism has also been fuelled by the absence of Brexit-related uncertainty, as businesses adjust to Britain’s new relationship with the EU, said BDO.

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